Citi aims to launch smart chatbot in Hong Kong by end-2018

Maria Nikolova

The service is set to slash costs and reduce the need for live call centres and branch visits from customers.

Citi is the latest banking giant to try to lure Hong Kong clientele via a smart chatbot. According to a report by the South China Morning Post, the chatbot, which will allow Hong Kong clients of the bank to check their account balance and recent transactions via Facebook Messenger, will launch in the city by the end of 2018.

Citi’s head of digital banking Priscilla Ng said: “I would say Facebook is the No 1 priority for us, since it has around five million users in Hong Kong, around half of which are very active. So it’s a digital hotspot for people, very much like shopping malls”.

The Facebook Messenger-embedded chatbot will let customers access their own financial records and potentially conduct transactions in future. Citi plans to roll out the service worldwide following its launch in Singapore in March.

Ng also told the newspaper that she believes that 2019 is when mobile payments will really take off in Hong Kong, helped by the HKMA’s push to standardise QR payment codes across platforms and vendors, as well as the launch of faster payments systems in September.

Other banks have been deploying chatbots in Hong Kong too. For instance, in November last year, Standard Chartered Hong Kong unveiled the launch of such a solution. The chatbot, based on Kasisto’s Kai Banking platform, can answer customers’ questions via the bank’s mobile app or its website. The new solution is set to allow retail customers to get account information, make payments, transfer money, track expenses and analyze their spending.

Whereas banks in Hong Kong embrace new AI-based technologies, small and medium-sized brokerages shun chatbots, a survey conducted earlier this year by the Hong Kong Securities Association has shown. The data indicates that Hong Kong brokers prefer to use popular messaging apps such as WhatsAapp and WeChat to connect with their clients, while artificial intelligence powered chatbots are being deployed by large financial institutions.

Of the 300 brokerages surveyed in January and February, 81% said they did not intend to deploy a chatbot, while 8% said they use one. The reasons for this reluctance vary but expenses are high on the list. Among those brokerages that do not plan to deploy chatbots, 67% said the reason for staying away from chatbots was the excessive cost.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

DCentral Miami brings together all of Web3, NFT, DeFi, Metaverse

The world’s biggest Web3 meeting entitled DCENTRAL Miami is set to take place November 28-29, featuring a lineup of some of the biggest and most influential names in the blockchain space.

Digital Assets

Crypto ban expands across UK banks as Starling joins ‎crackdown

UK digital bank Starling has banned ‎all customer payments related to cryptocurrencies, another blow for the crypto traders ‎who recently saw a sizable number of banks deciding not to ‎finance the wobbly asset class.‎

Interviews

Markets Direct at FIA EXPO 2022: Traders know what they want from brokers

The FIA Expo 2022, one of the most prestigious events within the global derivatives trading industry, took place in Chicago on 14 & 15 November.

Interviews

FIA Expo 2022: TNS addresses public cloud limitations with hybrid infrastructure

November is the month of the FIA Expo, one of the largest futures and options conferences in the world, bringing together regulators, exchanges, software vendors, and brokers in one place: the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk. 

Retail FX

Italy’s regulator blacks out Finance CapitalFX, MFCapitalFX

Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting investment products in the country.

Retail FX

Suspected leader of Honk Kong ramp-and-dump scam appears in court

A leader of a sophisticated ramp-and-dump scheme made his first court appearance in a Hong Kong court today, charged with market manipulation and various criminal offences. The case stems from an earlier joint operation of Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and the local police. 

Institutional FX

Cboe’s James Arrante discusses growing demand for fixed income, FX algo

We caught up with James Arrante, senior director of FX & US treasuries product and business management at Cboe Global Markets, to uncover emerging trends in the FX and fixed income markets and learn more about the bourse operator’s recent initiatives.

Retail FX

Eurotrader acquires UK broker Petra Asset Management

Eurotrader Group has formally entered into the UK market with the acquisition of FCA-regulated broker, previously named Petra Asset Management Ltd. The new entity operates under the brand name Eurotrade Capital Ltd.

Inside View, Retail FX

The Game of Chess Continues – OPEC, China and the Oil Market

Over the past decade, the US has been complaining about the amount of power which the BRIC group, and specifically China, has on the global economy. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China; these were the world’s fastest growing economies. Only in the past 10 months, the US has turned their attention toward OPEC due to the prices of fuel. Nevertheless, China seems to have a strong influence even over the price of crude oil.

<